Finally Available for our listening pleasure

I’m an only child. I didn’t have a cool older brother or sister who introduced me to tons of seminal music, but from an early age I just loved music and set my own path. I still vividly remember being entranced by Michael Jackson and being scared shitless as well when he flashed cat eyes at the end of the “Thriller” video.

Fucked my shit up

Thriller and the Ghostbusters Soundtrack were the first two albums that my parents bought me. But soon albums seemed dated with the advent of cassette tapes. Pretty sure Slippery When Wet was the first tape I ever purchased with allowance money in Third Grade. I loved that album most of that year, but swiftly moved on to other bands like U2 and INXS.

Musically, meh. Life Advice, crucial.

So, I had to rely on myself essentially to curate what type of music I liked and it really served me well in the long run. When I first heard rap it was a bit of a novelty but I really liked artists like LL Cool J, Sir Mix-a-Lot, (circa “Posse On Broadway”) Young MC, and the first Beastie Boys album. This was a time period when rap was still looked upon as a novelty and the music doesn’t really hold up that great (outside of LL and some of the Beastie tracks) but I liked it!

As I moved into middle school and early high school, not only did I start to mature but the rap/hip-hop genre did as well. I grew up in an upper middle class, mostly white suburb outside of Atlanta. I attended high school from 93-96 and grunge/alternative music were massive but so was hip-hop. The hip-hop that was most popular however was dominated by the G-Funk sound introduced to suburb kids by Dr. Dre.

N.W.A wasn’t really on my age group’s radar (we were a bit too young, it was a bit too hard-core for our age upon release) but by the time The Chronic and Doggystyle dropped (92 then 93) these albums were as likely to be played at your friends house as Ten or Nevermind (both released in 91) were.

I liked Dre’s/west coast rap music but wasn’t captured by it like I was by groups like Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill (west coast but DJ Muggs was from Queens!) and those pesky Beastie Boys. They each brought something different from the most popular sounds of the time and I was a massive fan. I was still a bit of musical nomad though and listened to many different genres, most notably British music. I got 2 tickets to see Blur in Atlanta on June, 29th 1997 and was unable to give one away to any friends. I scalped 1 of the tickets before the show.

I was positive they would have murdered me had I met them in real life after I listened to their self-titled debut album

Freshman year at UGA I saw Outkast play at Creswell Hall (yes this really happened, no I can’t find any links on the web) and soon afterwards became a massive fan. I started to listen to more hip-hop overall in college and the years after including DJ Shadow, Wu-Tang Clan, Gang Starr and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

I had been ATCQ fan for quite awhile by the time I met my wife. Her A Tribe Called Quest Pandora station (that she curated with the intensity of and precision of someone who is an expert at defusing bombs) was the real jumping off point for my obsession with the genre.

Opened up a pand…nevermind

By this point in my life I liked East Coast boom-bap production style the most but was missing out on a ton. The ATCQ station introduced me to tons of artists I hadn’t listened to previously like MF Doom, Black Moon, Black Star, Little Brother, Deltron 3030, Pete Rock & CL Smooth and Jeru the Damaga (just a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg/NYC artist DJ set mix I made from a couple years back). I fell in love and for the last decade plus East Cost inflected boom-bap hip-hop has reigned supreme as my favorite musical genre.

I was able to go back and and fall in love with epic music from the 90’s like Illmatic, Liquid Swords, Only Built 4 Cuban Links, The Infamous, Funcrusher Plus and tons of other albums and artists.

These ants are here to murder us too

So, after personally rediscovering this genre of music it bummed me out that De La Soul didn’t have any of their music available to stream. I always loved, “Me, Myself and I” and knew that their album 3 Feet High and Rising was considered a masterpiece. Luckily last Friday (March 3rd) De La Soul’s music was finally available to stream!

Here’a a fantastic article detailing why De La Soul didn’t have their music on any streaming services. The short of it is difficulty with sample clearance and streaming royalty disputes. It’s unfortunate that it took this long because founding member David Jolicoeur aka Trugoy the Dove passed last month on February 12th.

So now I’m going to listen to the 6 previously unstreamable De La Soul albums and list my favorite songs from them. I’ll break in down to 3 posts, each covering 2 albums. Really looking forward to this and better late than never!